Scientific Data on Benzo's

Discussion in 'Support' started by Carlos1, May 21, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Carlos1

      Carlos1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Root Canal
      Is there any Scientific data that proves Benzo's leads to Tinnitus? Or the use of them will increase T?
      There are so many horror stories on Benzo use but Benzo's can also provide someone the relief they need till they get stronger and can face the daily mental T battle.
       
    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
    3. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Tl;dr is that there are a lot of unknowns, but a reasonable hypothesis is that tinnitus is a result of a lack of gaba mediated inhibition in the auditory cortex and other brain regions. The worry with benzos is that long term they may result in further deterioration of gaba function. There are a bunch of studies showing, for instance, a decrease in gaba receptor sites among long term benzo users.

      The counter argument is people like my sister's father in law who had tinnitus and took valium for several decades before dying of unrelated causes.

      If you're interested in digging deeper, you could poke around pubmed and look for longitudinal studies of benzo users, especially anything that includes imaging data. If you find any interesting abstracts, I might be able to get you full texts.

      Do you use benzos? What impact do they have on your t? Some people report no change in the actual noise; this was not my experience. Despite everything I just said, I might eventually experiment with reinstating benzos if I can't come to terms with this issue in another way. But, I want to be very sure I have exhausted all other options, because I have withdrawn from benzos twice in my life, the second time was much harder, and so if I ever went back on, I believe it would be for good. That is not an attractive prospect.
       
    4. Carlos1

      Carlos1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Root Canal
      Hi @linearb I take the occasional Klonopin 1 mg at nite and the following day my T is much lower in volume. The effects probably last a day maybe 2. So what I do is take K every 3rd day its so hard not taking something that for me works really well at reducing the T level. I am aware of all the benzo horror stories and do worry about the long term effects. I always ask myself what quality of life do you want to live?..... And I rather live for the now and hope that in the future they'll be some other med for us T sufferers.....But truth be told I would rather not be on K it just seems like if I go a week or 2 without K my T just screams at me and I give in...So hard to know what's right
       
    5. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I take Xanax--it's been about 18 months now. One month into T, I had panic attacks and my doc put me on it. I used to take .50 mg 3 x's a day. Now I usually take .25 mg 2x's and .50 at night.

      I was very prone to anxiety before the onset of T--I really think that the anxiety of almost losing my spouse and losing our business in a hurricane, combined with a minimal HF hearing loss caused my tinnitus. My doc supervises me every four months and re-evaluates my progress. I am one of those people who may have to take anti-anxiety meds the rest of my life as my brain isn't making something chemically that I need to deal with anxiety. I will say that I have never had any euphoria from Xanax--it just makes me feel like my old normal self. At one point-- before the onset of T-- I couldn't even drive on NJ's dreaded Garden State Parkway without panicking and I worried excessively.

      I feel that it is because of Xanax that I was able to continue working and living my life. My life is not perfect--I hear my tinnitus most days but I am not anxious anymore. I had a good discussion about addiction and tolerance with my doc--who is a very compassionate person and he assured me that as long as I take it as prescribed--which is a low therapeutic dose--and not add any pills then I will be okay. I also went through CBT and use its tenets to help me live. Most times these days I am living--not just coping. I have habituated my reaction to tinnitus for the most part and Xanax helped me.

      I'm not advocating taking drugs-I am just sharing my experience.
       
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    6. Carlos1

      Carlos1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Root Canal
      @Kathi thank You for sharing your experience Kathi...There are days when Klonopin knocks out my T and I feel so normal again it regenerates me. thanx again for sharing.
       
    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I took benzos for a long time and I had good reasons for wanting to go off them, and doing so was truly the most difficult thing I've ever done... But I've been off for two years now, and if I'm honest with myself, much of the time I am just coping and not really living. I have a wonderful wife, and it seems I mostly use her as a security blanket and cannot really enjoy my time with her. So, I am starting to question if life off benzos is worth the cost.
       
    8. Carlos1

      Carlos1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Root Canal
       
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    9. SleeplessSoul
      Insomnious

      SleeplessSoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2014
      @linearb I heAr what you are saying about benzos. It's a real conflict deciding on whether to stay on them and have some quality of life or go off and suffer with sleeplessness and paralyzing fear, anxiety and panic.
      I won't ever know if they caused my t or when I tried the taper if that caused permanent spoke but I have lost my will to taper. I went from .50 to .25 then back to .375. The t is horrible whether it take it or not. I have to take the klonopin at bestie so I can at least get through the night.
      My concern with the benzos was more. Out my memory and cognitive skills but after 25 years I don't think I have much of a shot.
      And taking some aspirin usually lowers it for a day or two but then it goes right back up there piercing my head. my neuritis the told me it has to do with glutamate in the brain as we have more of that then gaba but we don't hear as much about that. He gave me memantine off label to quiet the tinnitus but I won't take it. They use it for Alzheimer's patients who's brains are producing so much glutamate trying to remember things.
      I M just so deflated. If I m ew my t was truly due to jaw and neck problems which I do have, I would mentally be able to process that better than thinking my meds which I need to function caused it.
      It's a shame all round. Seems there is no easy answer. Take care
       
    10. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      There is no easy answer, but I wish I could get my hands on some memantine to give it a shot... So we all have different worries.
       
    11. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      So you're saying that without benzos your quality of life decreased, and you're sure that that's the cause?
       
    12. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      That's what I'm saying, but if I'm being honest I'm not sure of anything, I have a lot of other problems that go back to long before tinnitus, and I am not a reliable witness of my own life right now.
       
    13. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      It's worth noting that before tinnitus got bad in 2009 I had spent the two prior years in a similar state because of an anatomical problem with the muscles in my neck.
       
    14. SleeplessSoul
      Insomnious

      SleeplessSoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2014
      @linearb me too. Terrible anatomical problems with my neck. Now also arthritis in facet joints And degeneration and stenosis c234567.
      And I can identify with not being a reliable witness of your own life.
      You would try the memantine? I read stories of depersonalization on other forums. Seemed pretty scary. Then if it worked, are we stuck on that??
       
    15. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I have enough experience with dissassociative drugs to not be especially alarmed by them, but, the "stuck" concern is valid. I'd like having something in my toolbox to knock the ringing back once in a while; because of my history with benzos, I'm not convinced that they are a good fit.

      My problems seem a bit different than a lot of folks here; I sleep pretty well with very minimal noise, and if anything, my T seems the quietest in the dead of night (excluding the odd time that I wake up with a blaring unilateral burst, which is rare but extremely unpleasant and anxiety provoking when it happens). But, during the day, my mind just will not let go of the sound at all. I have had periods of months where I barely thought about it, but the only common thread to those times seems to be pretty regular pot use, and that has never really been sustainable because one of the acute effects is always louder ringing, so I worry that it's making the problem worse over time.

      I've only been off weed completely for a couple weeks. I will probably give that another 8-10 weeks to shake itself out of my system before I consider benzos or memantine or whatever.

      I used to have a flaky but bold psychiatrist who would let me try nearly anything. He moved to sunny CA. I need to find someone like that again...
       
    16. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      The thing about disassociatives, at least for me, was that they were very strange but not at all scary, because they make you feel so far from yourself, that your emotional reaction doesn't happen. Like looking at the world through a dark hallway, or being in a dream.

      However, I would expect that someone without much background in severely altered states, would find them more difficult to integrate. Also, there is one anecdote from reddit of someone who said memantine had a dramatic impact on their hppd and tinnitus... Three days later they came back to report that they had developed severe akasthisia and ended up in the ER in a near psychotic state. So, it is clearly a strong and very unpredictable drug, and the overall data on it with regard to tinnitus is not very compelling. Because I also have the sort of severe visual disruptions that get called "HPPD", I'm a little more optimistic that it might influence my tinnitus, than I would be if I had severe HL and more run of the mill, lower pitch tinnitus.
       
    17. SleeplessSoul
      Insomnious

      SleeplessSoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2014
      I read that story too about the hppd! I don't known what it is but I am not able to handle any dissociative states at all. That would blow my mind literally.
      I had ketamine and some other dissociative anesthesia a few years back and was feeling out really bad after the surgery.
      I wouldn't think pot would make it louder but that is too bad because I think it helps in a lot of ways. Not for me though. In the 70's not so bad, older age =paranoia.
      Visual disruptions? I have this sort of blue field phenomena where I see millions of darting swirling objects when I look into bright light. Eye doc said it was ok but it's weird. They are not floaters. Is that common with t? Or part of the anxiety or gabe or glutamate or serotonin? I scare easily.....
      Oh and yes the t does get somewhat quieter during sleep itself if I can get there and stay there. That's part of the reason for benzos. Vicious cycle of chronic pain anxiety depression lack of sleep. A tough battle for sure.
      And memantine is used off labels I you are right there isn't enough compelling evidence to warrant the risk.
       
    18. Carlos1

      Carlos1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Root Canal
    19. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Do research. I found that a high percentage of people are helped with benzos. Don't be afraid to try them.
       
    20. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Googling this today, I found two different vendors who sell memantine as a "research chemical"..... Hmm.
       
    21. SleeplessSoul
      Insomnious

      SleeplessSoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2014
      My doctor is usually way ahead of the curve with treatments and medications. And he is very bright.
      He recommended and prescribed it.
      I don't have the nerve to try it.
       
    22. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      What do you suffer from now without the benzos- anxiety because of the tinnitus? Was there a change in that regard after the benzo withdrawal?
       
    23. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      the worst advice you can give on a tinnitus forum! ... the whole world knows this stuff is dangerous, causes and worsens tinnitus, is sold by the millions to people that are helped with other methods, causes dependency and increases risk of suicide and other psychological problems when you stop them ... is compared in a placebo study not even as helpful as many believe ... and you are going to casually state people should try it... ?
       
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    24. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      The tinnitus itself is worse, though possibly not worse than it was before the benzos... They definitely reduce the volume radically for me.

      @nills I don't think we need to be alarmist about this. Yes, benzo WD can cause tinnitus which may be long term or even permanent in some cases. People should be aware of that. But, having spent a lot of time on benzo boards, which tend to self select for worst case scenarios, the vast majority of people who experience such things recover completely in time.

      This is a difficult subject for me. I am, over all, not a fan of benzos. But when you consider the wide variety of experiences that people have with them, it's not black and white. Many, many people right here on this forum have found them incredibly useful, especially for short term use following onset.

      Everything in this world carries risk. I'm a huge proponent of mediation, and yet it is easy to find accounts of people who say that meditative practice caused tinnitus!
       
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    25. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      everything you say is true. I can easily follow your standpoint. But we need to become a bit more tough in life and not grab the first pill when things get a bit wobbly in our situation. A lot of people use these pills because they consider themselves too weak ... which I think is caused by all the religions and politicians fueling your brain with crap. How many people in afghanistan are using benzos?? or in africa?? are these people so much more depressed than us? on the contrary a lot of them they are much more strong and resilient ...

      yesyes, I know some people really need it ... old argument ... but it`s time people toughen up a bit and find their strength. My country, Belgium, has the highest sale of these pills in europe ... I know a few people taking them ... and god they could do without them so easily. This country is so boring and uncreative ... all grey mouses living by the rules of history ... But complacency is the root of their problem ... and not have the gutts to change your life and choosing to stay in a bad work/family/life situation ... only a small number of people actually have something going on in the brain where these drugs are a viable way of treatment ...
       
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    26. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      What dose of the memantine was he on? I was thinking about asking for it but I wouldn't want anything weird like that to happen. Did you ever try memantine?
       
    27. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      nah, it's exotic enough to be slightly hard to get prescribed, and never sounded likely to be helpful or interesting. IIRC methoxetamine made my tinnitus spike.
       

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